The State of Homeland Security

While observers are sharply divided over how much real progress is being made, the political will and technology now exists -- and that's a huge improvement

On May 12, a simulated explosion in Seattle and the revelation of dangerous germ-warfare toxins in Chicago kicked off a $16 million exercise to test America's first responders and emergency personnel. Thousands of firefighters, police, hospital workers, and others from dozens of federal, state, and local agencies took part. Going under the code name TOPOFF2, the exercise was the largest of its kind to date. Officials hope lessons learned from the event will help all levels of government better understand how to deflect a terrorist attack using weapons of mass destruction.

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